Ready for flight


BEACON FALLS — Woodland’s indoor track teams are getting ready for the upcoming NVL championships on Feb. 3.

Their latest meet, the Haddam-Killingworth Invitational on Jan. 17, showed some standout results and displayed many notable performances — including a school record. The girls finished 12th out of 27 teams, while the boys took 13th.

“This was a good meet for us,” Woodland girls track head coach Jeff Lownds said. “This is a good predictor for what we could do at the NVLs.”

Lownds, and boys coach Tim Shea, said they are still working on lineups for the conference championships. But, the Haddam-Killingworth meet provided insight into possibilities and potential for success.

With the NVL championships on the horizon, the Hawks had multiple top-five finishes in several events. The girls and the boys both had third-place finishes in a relay event.

The girls produced a third-place result in the 4-by-400 relay. The team of Jazmyn Menzies, Haleigh Resnick, Lisa Thrasher and Clara Drozdowski finished in a time of 4:29.0, about 3.5 seconds behind the second-place team from Stonington High School.

Kelsey Mitchell (12:35.10) took fourth in the 3,200. In the 1,000, Drozdowski (3:19.81) was fifth and Mitchell (3:26.41) was 11th in the 1,000.

Menzies took fifth in the long jump with a leap of 15 feet, 8.75 inches.

Other girls’ top-10 finishes included: Megan Lynch in the pole vault (eighth, 7 feet, 6 inches), Emma Poryanda in the pole vault (ninth, 7 feet), Courtney Jurzynski in the high jump (10th, 4 feet, 6 inches), and Samantha Plasky, Marisa Macek, Gianna Polletta and Resnick in the 4-by-200 meter relay (1:58.34).

Jeff Giusto set the school record and placed fifth in the 3,200 meter run with a time of 10:17.34. Giusto, a cross country standout, broke the previous record held by Kyle Cranney.

The boys also took third in the 4-by-800 relay. Zach Norieka, Jeff Moffat, Jeff Giusto and Dean Conway finished in a time of 9:05.01, which was 11 seconds ahead of the fourth-place team from Old Saybrook.

Individually, Drew Chura finished tied for fourth in the pole vault with a mark of 10 feet and will look to defend his NVL crown next week.

Other top-10 finishes for the boys included Tom Bethin in the 300 meter dash (seventh, 38.67 seconds), Colton Cronin, Matt Butterworth, Isah Miller and Conway in the 4-by-400 relay (10th, 3:58.53).

“Our times are getting better and better,” Lownds said referring to both the girls and the boys teams. “We just have to keep practicing well and carry that into next week.”